Pwllheli railway station

Pwllheli railway station is a railway station serving the small coastal town of Pwllheli on the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd, Wales. It is the terminus of the Cambrian Coast Railway.

Pwllheli
National Rail
158836 at Pwllheli July 2021.jpg
Transport for Wales Class 158 at Pwllheli in July 2021.
General information
LocationPwllheli, Gwynedd
Wales
Coordinates52°53′17″N 4°25′01″W / 52.888°N 4.417°W / 52.888; -4.417Coordinates: 52°53′17″N 4°25′01″W / 52.888°N 4.417°W / 52.888; -4.417
Grid referenceSH375350
Managed byTransport for Wales
Platforms1
Other information
Station codePWL
ClassificationDfT category E
History
Original companyAberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway
Pre-groupingCambrian Railways
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
Key dates
10 October 1867Opened
19 July 1909Moved to current site
12 September 1977Signal boxes and 1 of 2 platforms closed
Passengers
2016/17Increase 79,502
2017/18Decrease 76,454
2018/19Decrease 76,236
2019/20Decrease 65,464
2020/21Decrease 9,184
Listed Building – Grade II
FeaturePwllheli Railway Station
Designated28 July 1989
Reference no.4589[1]
Notes
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

HistoryEdit

In 1861 the Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway was given authorisation to build a line along Cardigan Bay between Aberystwyth and Porthdinllaen on the Llŷn Peninsula. However, the final five miles across the Llŷn Peninsula were never built. By 1865 the company had merged to become part of Cambrian Railways. When the first Pwllheli station opened on Thursday 10 October 1867[2] the decision to not complete the final five miles to Nefyn had already been taken. The station, which was about a half a mile from the town, became the line's terminus.

On 19 July 1909[3] a second station was opened near by the town centre following land reclamation that permitted the extension of the line. It had two tracks separated by an island platform with a small loading dock to the north.[4] The layout remained unchanged until rationalisation began in September 1977.

A goods yard was developed on the site of the first station. Its turntable is now in the possession of the West Somerset Railway. The Great Western Railway (GWR) doubled the track between Pwllheli station and the goods yard in order to increase capacity. But after the goods yard was closed and both the signal boxes and the signals were removed in 1977, the double-lined section is now used as a long run-round loop for visiting charter trains. By 1987 a supermarket had been developed on the former goods yard land.

Prior to the closure of the Afon Wen to Caernarfon Line in 1964, there were two named daily express services during the summer between Pwllheli and London:

In 1977 one side of the island platform was abandoned and the track was lifted (the land is now a car park). The station canopy, which was constructed by the GWR, survived intact until some glass fell out in late 1979, and it was shortened early in 1980. Today only the concourse and a short section of the platform remain covered. Pwllheli has one platform, a siding and a loop.[5] One of the old signal boxes also remains and is used as a covered ground frame to operate the loop points.

FacilitiesEdit

 
Former station building, now used as a cafe and coffee shop (April 2019)

The station is now unstaffed and has no ticket machine, so all tickets must be purchased on the train or prior to travel. The main building still stands - part of it is used as a cafe and coffee shop whilst the remainder provides covered waiting accommodation. Train running information is offered by means of digital display screens, automated announcements, timetable poster boards and a customer help point. Step-free access is provided from the main entrance to the platform.[6]

ServicesEdit

Services are operated by Transport for Wales and depart from Pwllheli for Machynlleth, Shrewsbury or Birmingham International. Occasional charter services also terminate at the station. Trains run roughly every two hours on weekdays (Mon-Sat), with three departures on summer Sundays and just a single service in winter.[7]

In November 2013, services from the station were suspended due to structural problems with the 1867 Grade II-listed wooden viaduct at Pont Briwet near Llandecwyn. Network Rail had intended to build the new bridge alongside the current one whilst keeping the latter open, but work to drive steel piles into the riverbed to support the new viaduct caused the old one to shift and made it unsafe. As a result, the train service north of Harlech had to be temporarily withdrawn whilst construction work continued and did not resume until the new bridge was ready.[8] Meanwhile, a replacement bus service ran over the 22 mile (35 km) section to Harlech. The line eventually reopened on 1 September 2014 when construction work on the rail portion of the new bridge was completed.[9]

Preceding station     National Rail   Following station
Terminus   Transport for Wales
Pwllheli - Machynlleth/Birmingham International
  Abererch
  Historical railways  
Terminus   Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway
Cambrian Railways
  Abererch
Line and station open

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cadw. "Pwllheli Railway Station (4589)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Opening of the Railway between Barmouth and Pwllheli". The Aberywswith Observer. Wales. 12 October 1867. Retrieved 24 October 2016 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
  3. ^ Transport Ticket Society Journal May 2017 page 182
  4. ^ "Pwllheli railway station, 1911". Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  5. ^ Shannon & Hillmer 1999, pp. 24–26.
  6. ^ Pwllheli station facilities National Rail Enquiries
  7. ^ Table 76 National Rail timetable, May 2017
  8. ^ "Bridge fiasco could close Porthmadog line until 2015" Archived 18 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Milner, Chris, Railway Magazine; Retrieved 2014-01-17
  9. ^ "New Pont Briwet rail bridge over Dwyryd estuary opens" BBC News article; Retrieved 2014-09-08

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit